A Perfect Fit

How do you make a home bigger without making it, well, bigger? That was the challenge presented to San Antonio designer Jana Valdez by clients who were debating whether to move or roll the dice on a huge renovation. Spoiler alert: Everybody won.

When the San Antonio homeowners built their house 18 years ago, the plans called for large “his and her” master closets. However, the original master closet was mistakenly extended five feet over the property’s setback line, which ultimately was not allowed. Cutting off those five feet resulted in “this great big bathroom and itty bitty his-and-hers closets that inconvenienced them for years,” says Jana Valdez, Principal Interior Designer of Haven Design and Construction, who performed the whole house remodel with co-owner and husband M. Armando Valdez, Licensed Contractor and Custom Homebuilder.

After struggling with the decision for almost a year, the homeowners finally gave Valdez the go-ahead. “We provided all of the design work, construction, furniture selections, window treatments, accessories, everything,” she says. The well-loved home was truly in need of an update. Old flooring was replaced with white oak throughout, along with fresh wall paint in Swiss Coffee by Benjamin Moore®. Curved custom drapery rods hold custom drapery in the foyer, master bedroom, dining room and breakfast space. Countertops throughout the home were built up three inches for a more transitional look.

But those closets. Unable to enlarge the home’s approximately 5,000-square-foot footprint, Valdez planned a bathroom reconfiguration that involved relocating the toilet 14 feet to the other side of the master bath to allow for an additional three feet to be added to the closets (with an eight-day dig through the slab foundation for relocating the plumbing). Amazingly, the majestic cupola soaring 22 feet up — now over the freestanding tub — remained centered in the room. “We weren’t sure we could keep it centered with the walls that we were moving,” says Valdez, “but once we figured it out, it made complete sense. We added a wall around the newly-relocated toilet and moved the opposite closet wall out three feet, too, so it all balanced.” Once the new walls were constructed, it was quite a feat to install the spectacular capiz shell chandelier from Corbett Lighting measuring 36 x 58 inches in the cupola, which required using a large scissor lift to hang it, but the extra effort was well worth the beautiful outcome.

Double doors now lead from the bath to the new 193-square-foot master closet, a beautifully organized, customized room with ample display and storage for everything — a perk that the couple had rarely enjoyed through the years. Painted in Agreeable Gray by Sherwin-Williams®, the highly efficient space holds everything from shoes to handbags to accessories. Originally hesitant about sharing a closet, “the homeowners now say it’s their favorite room,” says Valdez.

The 325-square-foot master bedroom takes its color cue from the exquisite AKDO tile in Ethereal Stella on the shower wall behind the tub. The soft hues are suited to a peaceful sanctuary for the hardworking couple, starting with the geometric wallpaper behind the upholstered bed that inspired the cream and gold scheme. Valdez was charged with creating a luxurious space to rival “a five-star hotel.” Glam touches like luxe custom bedding, a plush chaise and loveseat, and metallic glints throughout bring that high-end hotel experience home.

Inspiration reigns as well in the dining room, where an abstract painting by Alex Turco provides a neutral palette with polished metallic accents. Chairs upholstered in velvet are by Vanguard® Furniture. The tray ceiling, says Valdez, “was originally more ornate, so we simplified it to go with our transitional design and wallpapered it in metallic cork.” The light from the pair of icicle glass chandeliers bounces off of the metallic ceiling in a warm glow.

The heart of the home and the couple’s mainstay for frequent entertaining consists of the living room and kitchen where friends and family gather. But that space presented another challenge. “The fireplace was originally a corner fireplace, making it hard to lay out the furniture,” says Valdez. “So we decided to square up the living room (losing part of the patio), and centered the gas line for the modern linear fireplace that the couple had always wanted.”

The stunning fireplace surround is Bianco Caraibi Marble, which takes another star turn as the backsplash in the adjacent kitchen that went from dark to dreamy. Cabinets painted in Snowbound by Sherwin-Williams and Gunmetal by Benjamin Moore add high-contrast “wow.” Countertops are quartzite stone in Shadow Storm that stand up to daily wear better than marble. Barstools from Vanguard upholstered in a vinyl that looks like fabric with nail head trim are a chic addition. A built-in Miele® coffeemaker is a big hit with the homeowners, and a stylish breakfast area sits nearby.

The study was another room in search of a refresh. Valdez painted the trim in Chelsea Gray by Benjamin Moore and used metallic wallpaper on the backs of existing bookcases to add interest. “We really based the room design around the wallpaper,” she says. Bernhardt chairs in custom gray velvet were chosen because “the backs mimic the vine pattern in the wallpaper.” A gracefully curved desk makes the room feminine — but not too.

The couple are empty nesters, but their beloved dogs keep them busy with four-legged fun. Dog-friendly fabrics are prominent in the living spaces, and Valdez designed her first-ever dog shower in the perfect spot: the 8x10 laundry room. Knowing that “the dogs will shake and water will go everywhere,” Valdez made the cabinets above the shower and the counter higher and tiled all the walls. For the backsplash behind the soaking sink she chose Lunada Bay tile from the Shinju Ceramic Collection, Crest pattern, in Kushi.

Although the renovation took eight months to complete, the couple is glad they stayed put at a location they loved rather than start over elsewhere. The gamble paid off all the way around. At the 2019 ASID Legacy of Design Awards, Texas Chapter, Valdez and her team won “Residential Best in Show” for the kitchen and four additional residential awards for the home. To top it all off, the Haven team was also awarded five San Antonio NARI CotY Awards for this spectacular home, including overall “San Antonio 2019 Contractor of the Year.”

Valdez and her team gave the owners exactly what they wanted and then some. “I think they’re two of the happiest clients we’ve ever had.” The dogs, too.


Haven Design and Construction

210-996-9494  |  www.havendesignandconstruction.com